Name: Linda Harris-Young
Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Ph.D. (1992)
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Current town: Lynchburg, Tennessee
Current employer and job: Motlow State Community College, Professor of Biology
What is your favorite UAB memory? The wonderful professors in the School of Public Health, especially Dr. Walter Mason
How has UAB impacted your life? My educational experience at UAB has allowed me the opportunity to do environmental research and to teach.
What made you choose your current profession? My love of science, especially environmental microbiology
What would you do if you were given more time in each day? I would do more reading.
What invention have you seen in your lifetime that you believe has been the most important? The steam engine- just kidding; personal computers has been the best invention.
If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be? Financial stability, good health, and perfect grandchildren.
If you could go back to any age…which age and why? Age 38 - because I had finished my education, my daughter was grown, and I had a wonderful job teaching at Jacksonville State University. For the first time in my life, I knew myself and the direction my life was going.
Which historical figure do you most identify with and why? Louis Pasteur, because of his contributions to microbiology
If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? To control over-population of the world; over-population leads to all environmental problems (pollution, water issues, etc.).
What natural gift would you most like to possess? The ability to sing (well)
What trait(s) do you most value in your friends? Honesty!
Who would you want to portray you in a film about your life? Sally Field (some say I resemble her)
What is your motto? “Don’t look around some day and look at all you have and realize you’re not anything you want to be”
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Get an education!
Name: Chenoia Bryant
Graduation Year: May, 2012
Major: Health Care Organization & Policy – Maternal & Child Health Concentration & Global Health Studies Certificate
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Why did you choose to attend UAB? I chose the UAB School of Public Health because I wanted an opportunity to further my academic training in examining the social systems and structural violence that yield adverse health outcomes in vulnerable and minority populations.
Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far and why? The best professor I have had at UAB so far would be Dr. Lisle Hites, who was my Ethics professor. He really embraced my research interest in sex workers and transgender individuals and took me under his wing to offer academic guidance and mentoring regarding my studies and my long term career goals. I also have to mention Dr. Jack Duncan. His enthusiasm and amazing way of bringing material to life is unmatchable.
What is your favorite UAB memory? I honestly have so many, so it is very difficult to choose. If I had to pick one thing, I would say it is the fact that I have been so blessed and so fortunate to have met so many brilliant, amazing, talented, and compassionate people throughout this part of my journey. Whether they were professors or classmates, each individual I have come into contact with has greatly enriched my life, and that is something I wouldn’t trade for anything.
What is your current state of mind? I’m happy and in a good place. I don’t feel as if anything is missing, and I feel I am exactly where I should be. Everything that is to come will do so in its own time.
What do you do for fun? I travel when I have the time, which isn’t very often these days. But I love the beach and standing next to and being in the ocean. I also enjoy any place where I can view the mountains. They both put things into perspective for you. You are such a small piece in such a great and majestic world. I really love Rio (Brazil) because you have the ocean and the mountains embracing each other all the time.
Who are your heroes in real life? I know some people will think this is cliché’, but my heroes are my mother, my grandmothers (I had six when I was born and still have two), my Aunt Joyce, and my Great-Aunt Iris, who just passed away on February 28, 2012. Those women embody everything I hope to be at some point in my life. I also have a great love for Zora Neale Hurston and bell hooks.
If you were given more time in each day, what would you do? It’s sad to say, but I would probably work more. I just really love what I do, and I love the field I’m in, so work is not really work, at least not for me.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I’d like to be a genie that got to grant three wishes for everyone as long as their wish would cause the next man no harm.
What is the best invention of your lifetime and why? All things Apple I think. You now have your music, photos, the people you love, documents, your schedule, movies, networks and so many other splendid things in one tiny device that you can sync with all your other devices. However, I imagine that this invention goes hand in hand with the internet, so I guess the internet wins. (Laugh)
What are your future goals? I plan to pursue my Ph.D. in Gender, Sexuality, and Health within the next year. I want to do research and design interventions that will increase positive health outcomes for sex workers who have entered the industry by choice or by force through trafficking. I also want to help to reform policy for transgender health management. My largest goal is to always be kind, to remain compassionate, and to be wise. I feel like if I can keep a handle on these things, achieving the rest of my goals will be a cinch.
What would be your ultimate dream job? Eventually, I would like to do international field work and research, especially in the area of policy formation regarding sex workers, sex trafficking, and transgender individuals. I would like to do most of this work in Brazil, and I am currently working on learning Portuguese for this reason. Ultimately I just want to make a difference in the lives of those individuals who are often stigmatized, marginalized, and outcast by society.
If you had a theme song, what would it be? Natasha Bedingfield – “Strip Me”
If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? I would solve the issue of poverty, which sounds weird to say aloud , but it’s at the root of most of the world’s issues. Hunger, disease, violence and most negative things you can think of, poverty is the common denominator. However, it would be very interesting to see what would happen to people’s jobs and lives if we eradicated poverty because what would people do if there were no problems to solve. Things that make you go hmmm?
What’s the best advice you ever received? “Whatever you do, strive to do it so well, that no man living, no man dead, and no man yet to be born can do it any better.”
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be? Swords, Harps, and Rainbows (This is in reference to one of my favorite quotes by Zora Neale Hurston that I greatly identify with. “I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and sword in my hands.”